Purchase New vs. Repair Old: Pros & Cons of New Packaging Machinery

Rick Leonhard

Why invest in new flexible packaging machinery like VFFS equipment? Why not?

Here are some of the pros and cons of introducing new automated packaging equipment into your company’s production processes.


Higher Productivity/More Capacity

New packaging machines can enable teams to work much faster than they could with hand-packing. One of the best ways to increase production capacity is to invest in packaging automation and train your workforce to use it effectively.

New integrated interfaces make the learning curve much less steep when introducing new packaging machinery to your workforce. Many packaging equipment manufacturers also offer onsite training as part of your contract as well.


Another big benefit of having newer packaging machinesVarious bagging options is that they offer more agile production. With specifications like tool-free changeover, these machines can make it a lot easier to switch from one packaging format to another without a labor-intensive changeover process. Versatile flexible packaging machinery can grow as you grow and scale to changing demand, enabling your production processes to be more fluid.

Lower Maintenance Costs

With newer packaging machines, you'll experience less downtime as a result of parts wearing. Older machines tend to break down more often. This leads to unproductive downtime which costs the company money. At some point, it seems like you're just throwing good money after bad to replace and repair parts on older, less sophisticated packing machines. And don't fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy; just because you've already 'invested' a lot of cash in a substandard machine for repairs does not mean you should keep doing so as a way to justify those past costs.



As with any kind of capital equipment acquisition, companies have to carefully consider the cost of buying new packaging equipment, and if it justifies the benefits the new equipment will bring.

It's important to be price conscious and to do some comparison shopping before buying this type of asset. However, as with most purchases, remember that you get what you pay for. When narrowing down packaging equipment options, properly consider the total cost of ownership and return on investment implications. With those details in mind, management will often see that the benefits will justify the decision to purchase a new machine rather quickly.

There are many kinds of hard and soft costs related to keeping aging equipment -- some of which are mentioned above, like the maintenance burden. There's also the idea that you can boost sales outcomes by impressing potential customers with newer technology.

Learning Curve

VFFS packaging machineEvery new packaging machine comes with a learning curve. Yes, you'll need training. Yes, that training will take time, effort, and monetary investment. But with newer human machine interfaces, many of the latest VFFS packaging machines make it easy to adjust to their use in a short period of time. So there will be up-front training costs, but they won't be a part of your recurring operational expenses for very long. Investing in workforce training also pays off in dividends when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.



Any significant investment in new equipment may increase your insurance costs. However again, these machines can pay for themselves many times over in the long run. It's similar to investing in a home; yes, there are necessary costs (like insurance) that aren't ever going to be directly recovered, but overall, an investment in a quality home is an investment in your future. It's the same with quality packaging machinery.

It's important to have accurate insurance in place to cover everything that’s part of your business footprint -- think of acquiring new packaging machinery as an opportunity to update your policy to make sure you’re 100% covered.


Calculate the ROI of a future packaging machine purchase

Want to calculate the return on investment on a potential new packaging machine investment? Use our free ROI calculator to get some answers:

Download Excel capital equipment ROI calculator